School Leadership in Action

School Leadership in Action


This series of videos is intended to illustrate best practices in school leadership and spark conversation, reflection, and new thinking in schools and districts. Whether you are hoping to become a principal, just started a principalship, or have been leading a school or district for years, the leaders profiled here reflect a wealth of experience, of learning, and of strategy for school improvement.

Anchored in the five leadership practices identified in a decade of research supported by The Wallace Foundation, the Principal Practice videos bring the work of school leadership to life. Each video vignette features two principals from different parts of the country, along with their staffs, students and communities.

Accompanying these videos are discussion guides that can be used to frame reflective conversations about leadership practices in university-based coursework, district-based training programs, coaching or supervisory conversations, or peer-run professional learning communities.

The Principal Supervisor video provides a glimpse at how two large districts are remaking the traditional role of principal supervisor, allowing them to focus more deliberately on helping principals improve instruction in schools.

  • Shaping a Vision of Academic Success for All Students

    Learn how a principal can ensure that a vision of high expectations for teachers and students permeates every aspect of a school with this professional development video for school leaders. William C. Bassell, principal of the Academy of American Studies in Long Island City, NY, and Susan Bearse, principal of Berkeley Lake Elementary School in Duluth, GA, share the key processes and effective practices that have led to the development of a sustainable, shared vision for high performing students in their schools.

    Grades: 13+
  • Creating a Climate Hospitable to Education

    Learn how principals can effect changes in their school culture to positively impact student achievement with this professional development video for school leaders. Kimberly Washington, principal of Hyattsville Middle School in Hyattsville, MD, and Tom DeGrazia, principal of P.S. 66 in Bronx, NY, discuss how they implemented significant changes in the climate and culture at their respective schools and the impact that has had on student success.

    Grades: 13+
  • Cultivating Leadership in Others

    Learn why principals are critical in preparing assistant principals to become principals in this professional development video for school leaders. Jacqueline Haynes, principal of Howard W. Blake High School in Tampa, FL, and Penny Palmer Young, principal of Arcado Elementary School in Lilburn, GA, highlight the different ways they develop leadership skills in their assistant principals.

    Grades: 13+
  • Improving Instruction

    Learn how effective principals can improve student achievement by focusing on the quality of instruction in their schools with this professional development video for school leaders. Niki Brown, principal of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones Elementary School in Adelphi, MD, and Deirdre Keyes, principal at P.S./I.S. 206 in Brooklyn, NY, share processes and strategies that have proven effective in impacting instruction in their schools.

    Grades: 13+
  • Managing People, Data, and Processes to Foster School Improvement

    Learn strategies and practices that principals can use to optimize time for instructional leadership with this professional development video for school leaders. Jeanne Fagan, principal of P.S./I.S. 119 in Queens, NY, and Clayborn Knight, principal of Nesbit Elementary School in Tucker, GA, discuss how they optimize their schedules and delegate responsibilities in order to focus their time on instruction.

    Grades: 13+
  • Principal Supervisors

    This 10-minute video tells the story of how two school districts -- Tulsa, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. -- are remaking the traditional role of principal supervisor, allowing them to focus more deliberately on helping principals improve instruction in schools.

    To learn more about this initiative, download The Wallace Foundation report The Power of Principal Supervisors: How Two Districts Are Remaking an Old Role.

    Grades: 13+

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